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Philip Armstrong

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Philip Armstrong

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Philip Armstrong

Abstract

Because the notions of "anthropomorphism" and "sentimentality" often are used pejoratively to dismiss research in human-animal studies, there is much to be gained from ongoing and detailed analysis of the changing "structures of feeling" that shape representations and treatments of nonhuman animals. Literary criticism contributes to this project when it pays due attention to differences in historical and cultural contexts. As an example of this approach, a reading of the humanization of cetaceans in Herman Melville's Moby-Dick - and more broadly in nineteenth-century whaling discourse - demonstrates how radically human feelings for nonhuman species are affected by shifting material and ideological conditions.

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Laurence Simmons and Philip Armstrong

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Laurence Simmons and Philip Armstrong

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Laurence Simmons and Philip Armstrong

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Laurence Simmons

Edited by Philip Armstrong

In recent decades the humanities and social sciences have undergone an ‘animal turn’, an efflorescence of interdisciplinary scholarship which is fresh and challenging because its practitioners consider humans as animals amongst other animals, while refusing to do so from an exclusively or necessarily biological point of view. Knowing Animals showcases original explorations of the ‘animal turn’ by new and eminent scholars in philosophy, literary criticism, art history and cultural studies. The essays collected here describe a lively bestiary of cultural organisms, whose flesh is (at least partly) conceptual and textual: paper tigers, beast fables, anthropomorphs, humanimals, l’animot. In so doing, they investigate the benefits of knowing animals differently: more closely, less definitively, more carefully, less certainly.
Contributors include: Laurence Simmons, Alphonso Lingis, Barbara Creed, Tanja Schwalm, Philip Armstrong, Annie Potts, Allan Smith, Ricardo De Vos, Catharina Landström, Brian Boyd, Helen Tiffin, Ian Wedde.